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The Local Kaepernick

It is pretty much a given that Donald Trump absolutely knows nothing about the African American experience. Neither does his family. I hope Trump does not take the advice of the President. He might learn something. See this from an AP story:

President Barack Obama scolded Donald Trump for his bleak description of the African-American community as recent police shootings of black men — and the violent protests that followed them — inject sensitive questions about race into the presidential contest.

America’s first black president took issue with the Republican nominee’s suggestion this week that “African-American communities are absolutely in the worst shape than they’ve ever been in before, ever, ever, ever.”

“I think even most 8-year-olds would tell you that whole slavery thing wasn’t very good for black people. Jim Crow wasn’t very good for black people,” Obama said in an interview that aired Friday on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

The Democratic president encouraged Trump to visit Washington’s new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, where the ABC interview was conducted.

“What we have to do is use our history to propel us to make even more progress in the future,” Obama said.

Like, I said. I hope Trump stays clueless.

Kaepernick keeps winning.

A Texan protested last night. Here is from the Chron:

In a symbol of protest about the series of deadly shootings of black men at the hands of police that has triggered unrest throughout the nation, Texans offensive tackle Duane Brown raised his fist during the national anthem Thursday night at Gillette Stadium.

It was reminiscent of the legendary protest from Olympic track athletes John Carlos and Tommie Smith during the 1968 Olympics when they raised black, gloved fists during the national anthem.

Brown has been outspoken on social media in his outrage about the rash of killings.

“Just a symbol of my support and raising awareness for the recent killings of unarmed black men, I think it’s something that needs to be changed,” Brown said. “I was just showing my support. It’s frustrating. I’ve showed my position. It keeps happening, so it’s very frustrating.”

Brown is injured and didn’t play last night. Folks in these parts worship the Texans. I wonder if the haters are going to call him out.

Kaepernick is now on the cover of Time Magazine so he keeps winning.

I guess H-Town and Harris County are in play. Last week, Donald Trump was in town and today Senator Tim Kaine visits. Anything helps for turnout. Of course, I really do not see a whole lot of local grass roots campaigning going on. I think I have only seen one or two Secretary Hillary Clinton signs in my neighborhood and not very many local candidate signs. My neighborhood has a bunch of Democrats but we have not been door knocked. Oh, well.

How many RBIs does Carlos Correa have against the Angels this season?

I am sure folks have seen the UH poll for Harris County that has Clinton leading Trump by 10 points with 15% undecided. Here is from the Chron story on the poll:

“Neither party can depend on presidential coattails or incumbency, frequent mainstays of politics,” said Renée Cross, associate director and researcher at the Hobby School. “With only six weeks to go, the county candidates have a lot of work to do in this highly unpredictable election.”

Now these are grown-ups. Check this from the Washington Post:

A group of 75 retired career Foreign Service officers, including ambassadors and senior State Department officials under Republican and Democratic presidents over nearly a half-century, has signed an open letter calling Donald Trump “entirely unqualified to serve as President and Commander-in-Chief.”

The diplomats said “none of us” will vote for Trump. While they said not all of them agreed with every decision made by Hillary Clinton, they said they all supported her candidacy.

“Because the stakes in this election are so high,” the letter said, “this is the first time many of us have publicly endorsed a candidate for President.”

Here is the letter and names of the endorsers: http://apps.washingtonpost.com/g/documents/national/former-ambassadors-sign-a-letter-refusing-to-vote-for-donald-trump/2155/ .

Here is the entire article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/75-retired-senior-diplomats-sign-letter-opposing-trump-for-president/2016/09/21/5c5dff10-8046-11e6-b002-307601806392_story.html?tid=ss_tw .

Brownie is leaving the booth. Check this from MLB.com:

It’s the end of an era. Longtime Astros play-by-play announcer Bill Brown will retire at the end of the season, he announced Thursday afternoon, ending a legendary career with Houston that spanned 30 years and earned Brown a spot on the Astros’ Media Wall of Honor.

Brown’s final scheduled broadcast will be during the Astros’ final regular-season home game on Wednesday, when Houston plays Seattle.

And:

“Brownie” has been around baseball since 1976, when he joined the Cincinnati Reds’ television crew, staying until 1982. He then came to Houston in ’87, making him the Astros’ longest-tenured current television broadcaster.

Here is the Brownie story: http://m.astros.mlb.com/news/article/202763346/astros-play-by-play-man-bill-brown-to-retire/

Interested in Wild Card tiebreaker scenarios? Check this: http://m.astros.mlb.com/news/article/199753224/2016-mlb-tiebreaker-scenarios/

So remember when the ‘Stros decided they didn’t need Tal’s Hill. So look what the team sent me yesterday:

Come bid a final farewell to Tal’s Hill and be a part of Astros history! After the games on Sunday, September 25th and Wednesday, September 28th, fans will have the opportunity to have a commemorative photo taken in front of Tal’s Hill. Season Ticket Holders can purchase a voucher for a discounted rate of only $25. All proceeds will benefit the Astros Foundation.

Correa has 20 RBIs against the Angels.

We are contenders with 9 to go and we only had half the seats filled last night. I get it. Folks were at home watching the Texans. We could have used some more fans though to build some energy. We lost and are 1 ½ out of the Wild Card.

Well at least we weren’t called “PERFECT PATSIES” like the Chron called the Texans today.

Grow Up

In the Chron today, Stan Marek, a “specialty subcontractor based in Houston”, has an Op-Ed that starts with this:

As the debate about illegal immigration rages at the national level thanks to the vitriolic rhetoric of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, it’s high time for all of us to take a look at how the broken system is negatively affecting people right here in our own community.

My entire career has been spent in construction, so I’ve been perfectly positioned to see how this mess has evolved over the past few decades. Rather than rehash arguments I’ve made previously – arguments I will continue to make in the future – I’d like to share with you the story of a young woman whose experience is all too common here in Southeast Texas.

Here is the entire Marek Op-Ed: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/outlook/article/Marek-What-immigration-reality-looks-like-for-9237716.php.

That is all fine and dandy. But guys like Marek just need to grow up and endorse Secretary Hillary Clinton. Quit being wimpy, please!

The ‘Stros are now 81-71. What was our record last year with 10 games to go?

Last night, I spent part of the evening watching the riot. How come folks don’t riot during the day?

I also watched the  first episode of “Designated Survivor” and I was impressed.

Remember this from 11 years ago today. I am talking about Lovely Rita, or premature evacuation, as a former H-Town Council Member once said. Check this from today’s Chron:

This week in 2005 many of us in the Houston area were buckling down to bear the brunt of Hurricane Rita. 

The aftermath and horror of Hurricane Katrina just weeks before had scared many people in the area into action, with long lines at grocery stores, hardware stores and voluntary evacuations.

Hurricane Rita, a Category 5 monster, was moving toward the Texas Gulf Coast with frightening speed, causing evacuation orders for low-lying areas. 

The rush to get out of town and to places to the north and west created horrendous traffic jams as residents from every county in the area clamored to get out of the path of what was predicted to be a damaging hurricane. 

People who would have otherwise hunkered down, were scared into taking drastic action. Rita did indeed look terrifying and was headed straight toward Houston with 175 mph winds and worst-case scenario potential. 

The worst was possible. 

Some 2.5 million people hit the road ahead of the storm’s arrival. The worst day was probably Thursday, Sept. 22, as every conceivable evacuation route was clogged well past capacity.

I stayed in town.

With 10 games to go last season, we were 80-72 of course.

Even though we are now 1 game out of the Wild Card race, I am thinking more folks will be more interested in watching football tonight instead of checking the ‘Stros host the Angels. Just saying.

Service to the Country

Some folks are disappointed that Kathleen Hartington Kennedy Townsend let the country know that President George H. W. Bush would be voting for Secretary Hillary Clinton. These folks said President Bush made the comment in private and it wasn’t intended to be made public.

Maybe so, but we are talking about the presidency. The most powerful gig in the universe. If a living former GOP president is going to vote for the nominee of the Democratic Party, then the country needs to know. It certainly should not be kept private. It needs to be part of the debate. It is a service to our country.

Kathleen Townsend did the right thing.

Now is just a matter of time before Donald Trump goes after President Bush.

Here is from a related story in Politico today:

“The reality is, if all of this meant something, Donald Trump would not be the nominee,” said Bruce Haynes, a GOP consultant in Washington. “Out in Raleigh and Des Moines, people don’t give a damn about what the Bushes say or do. If anything, they see the establishment politicians closing ranks around Clinton and are more emboldened to do the opposite.”

He is right.  Here is the entire Politico read:

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/09/bush-family-donald-trump-228446

Jose Altuve got base hit number 200 last night. That is now three consecutive seasons that Altuve has 200 or more base hits – 2014, 2015, and 2016. Want to guess how many base hits he had in 2013?

Commentary is not an expert on drainage or flooding. I certainly know we don’t have a problem on my street. So I kind of found it odd yesterday when a few city trucks and tractors came down my street and start digging out our ditches. I am still kind of scratching my head on this one. My drainage fee at work, I guess.  Thanks.

Kaepernick keeps winning. The Chron E-Board today has a take on the Kaepernick stuff and a take on the Rice MOB. You can check it here: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Pigskin-commentary-9235411.php.

In 2013, Altuve had 177 base hits. Practice, practice, practice.

Ok, here’s the deal. We are still in the Wild Card chase.

Toronto is 83-68 with 11 games left. 1 in Seattle, 4 at home against the Yankees, 3 at home against B’More, and 3 at Fenway.

B’More is 82-69 with 11 games left. They host the Red Sox for 2, they host the D-Back for 3, they go to Toronto for 3, and then to Yankee Stadium for 3.

The Tigers are 80-70 with 12 games left. They play 2 in Minnesota. They host the Royals for 3, host Cleveland for 4, and close out the season with 3 in The ATL.

The ‘Stros are 80-71 with 11 games left. We are in Oakland today for 1, starting tomorrow we host the Angels for 4, the Mariners for 3, and end the season with three in Anaheim.

I like our chances.

We pulled out a close one last night in 10 inning that ended just after midnight.

It’s Late Night

This does not surprise me. See this:

Former president George H.W. Bush will break from his own party when he votes in the presidential election this November, opting for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton over rival Donald Trump, according to Kathleen Hartington Kennedy Townsend. 

Politico says Townsend posted a photo on Facebook Monday in which she’s shaking hands with the 41st president, accompanied by the caption “The President told me he’s voting for Hillary!!”

Why would he vote for a guy like Trump?   For that matter, why would any Bush vote for Trump?

It is official. Donald Trump’s kid is a dumbarse. Why would anyone compare the refugee crisis to candy?  What a four star dumbarse.

Commentary is not going to talk much about keeping white tigers in a restaurant in Downtown H-Town, but why would we want tigers to live in Downtown H-Town? Feel free to answer if you can.

How many games left do we have with playoff contenders?

Jimmy Fallon caught some grief because all he challenged was Donald Trump’s hair.

Commentary doesn’t watch a lot of the late night talk shows. Sometimes Fallon, Kimmel, or Colbert. I don’t have a favorite. I may try to watch when a politico of interest is on and not because I hope the politico gets nailed by a host. It is usually to see what kind of gags the politico will perform like the President and the First Lady have in the past. That’s not to say I would not mind if the hosts would challenge the politicos on occasion, but that is not what I expect. I will leave that up to folks like Wolf Blitzer, Martha Raddatz, Jake Tapper, Lester Holt, Norah O’Donnell, and Jorge Ramos.

I didn’t watch Fallon the other night other than what has been running on the hair deal. Cut him some slack. It’s late night.

In fact, you have to give Fallon some points. I for one would never stick my hand in Trump’s hair. Would you?

From the I didn’t know they could read department. Here is this from Poynter.org:

When The Dallas Morning News endorsed Hillary Clinton for president earlier this month, it broke a 75-year streak of not endorsing a Democrat.

The editorial drew pushback from many readers in Texas, a Republican-dominated state that hasn’t voted for a Democrat since Jimmy Carter in 1976. A sampling of the comments underneath the endorsement (more than 3,500) gives some idea of the magnitude of the criticism. Many readers vowed to unsubscribe, although some praised the newspaper for taking a stand for what it called the only “serious candidate on the presidential ballot.”

But it also paid financially for its decision to endorse Clinton. Although he declined to say how many readers cancelled their subscriptions, Dallas Morning News Editor Mike Wilson acknowledged the endorsement came with a price tag.

Here is the entire Poynter. read: http://www.poynter.org/2016/dallas-morning-news-paid-a-price-for-its-hillary-clinton-endorsement/430900/.

I wonder if the Chron lost any subscribers. After their takedown of Trump today, you just have to ask that question.

Speaking of, it is really quite astonishing to see more and more media outlets say that Trump is a serial liar. Here is from a Politico story today:

It does not matter if what he says is false. That Trump lies on a regular and dismal basis is no longer a question. It is a fact.

We only have three games left with a playoff contender – all three with the Mariners.

We won again last night but are still three back in the Wild Card race.  Twelve games to go.

Mr. Birther

Donald Trump is Mr. Birther period.

Since Friday afternoon, his sad team of surrogate talking heads have been trying to peddle the story that the 2008 Hillary Clinton campaign started the birther issue. Sorry, pals! Nobody is buying it.

This birther baby has been all Trump’s the past five years and everybody knows it. He owns it. It is not even up for debate. This isn’t spin material.

This is from an MSN story:

Donald Trump derided former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, calling the national security official a “clown” and a “mess.”

Guys like Gates need to get off their arses or high horses and endorse Secretary Clinton like right now.

Commentary is not going to talk much about pensions but you can read what the E-Board said yesterday on the matter here: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Pension-possibilities-9228440.php.

Mark Trumbo of B’More leads MLB with 43 dingers this season. When was the last time a player hit 50 or more dingers in a season?

The Rice band pulled off a good one over Baylor Friday night. Here is from the Chron:

Rice didn’t beat Baylor on the football field, but the MOB band aimed to win halftime Friday night at Rice Stadium. 

The MOB, the Owls’ band known for its humorous halftime shows, dedicated Friday’s performance to poking fun at Baylor’s sexual assault scandal, which led to the firing of football coach Art Briles.

And:

The band proceeded to align in a formation to resemble the Roman numeral nine representing Title IX – poking fun at the multiple Title IX lawsuits Baylor is facing over the school’s handling of sexual assaults. 

The band then aligned in a star formation meant to represent former Baylor president Ken Starr and his exit, all the while playing the song “Hit The Road, Jack.” 

Here is the entire read: http://www.chron.com/sports/rice/article/Rice-band-mocks-Baylor-for-Title-IX-lawsuits-9228565.php.

The General, who by the way, went to Baylor was at the game and tweeted this:

John McClain ‏@McClain_on_NFL 16h16 hours ago

The loudest ovation for first half is still Art Briles showing up on Baylor sideline. Fans stood and cheered whey they recognized him.

And this:

John McClain ‏@McClain_on_NFL Sep 16

What an ingenious halftime show by the MOB. Baylor fans need a sense of humor.

Then the Rice administration sold out the MOB with this statement:

“The Marching Owl Band, or MOB, has a tradition of satirizing the Rice Owls’ football opponents. In this case, the band’s calling attention to the situation at Baylor was subject to many different interpretations. Although the band’s halftime shows are entirely the members’ projects with no prior review by the university administration, we regret any offense, particularly if Baylor fans may have felt unwelcome in our stadium. While we know that the MOB did not intend in any way to make light of the serious issue of sexual assault, we are concerned that some people may have interpreted the halftime performance in that vein. Sexual assault is a matter of serious concern on campuses across the nation, and all of us have an obligation to address the matter with all the tools at our disposal. The MOB sought to highlight the events at Baylor by satirizing the actions or inactions of the Baylor administration, but it is apparent from the comments of many spectators and Baylor fans that the MOB’s effort may have went too far.”

There is a column in the Rice newspaper today that starts like this:

Two years ago, I wrote an opinion piece in the Thresher to shed light on what I saw as systemic issues within the Rice community that enabled acts of sexual assault and violence to occur. Since then, the Thresher has reported on the administration’s numerous efforts to curb sexual assault and to increase dialogue on campus. However, the statement released by Rice after the Marching Owl Band’s halftime performance at the Baylor game is a disappointing reminder of our university’s failure to elevate the discourse surrounding sexual assault.

Here is the entire piece: http://www.ricethresher.org/article/2016/09/rices-response-to-mob-performance-deeply-disappointing.

On Friday, Commentary got the Texas Sports Nation in my Chron. Here is what it is:

As a subscriber, you will receive all-star coverage of our beloved hometown teams and athletes across all sports from the Houston Chronicle. Enjoy, deep, in-depth sports coverage and content, valued by sports enthusiasts coupled with a weekly 48+ page full-color magazine, intense interactive online media.

Texas Sports Nation will also air on Sunday nights @ 11pm  on KPRC/Channel 2, immediately following Randy McIlvoy Sports Sunday show which we will co-anchor with Houston Chronicle’s own Sports Columnist Jerome Solomon.

There is a lot of stuff in the 48 pager. I will pay the extra $52 annually to support my paper.

Kaepernick keeps winning. Check this from Saturday’s Chron:

Coach Jeff Riordan thought he was getting ahead of a contentious issue.

At Crosby High School, where he is head football coach and athletic director, Riordan talked to student-athletes this week about San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision to take a knee during the national anthem to protest racism and police brutality.

None of the players discussed plans to kneel, but Riordan issued a pre-emptive warning: Stand for the anthem or be sent to the locker room.

Riordan and the district reversed the decision days later after some team members complained. Students from across the political spectrum discussed everything from respecting veterans to the Black Lives Matter movement during a lengthy meeting.

They decided to kneel during the coin toss and stand for the anthem.

Here is the entire read: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/article/Taking-a-stand-over-the-anthem-9228522.php?cmpid=btfpm.

In 2013, B’More’s Chris Davis hit 53 dingers of course.

We won 2 of 3 in Seattle and moved up a game. We are 3 out of the Wild Card with 13 to play.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diez y Seis

I wonder if someone is going to brief Donald Trump on Diez y Seis – Mexico’s Independence Day. I wonder if he will do a taco bowl or enchilada or burrito tweet today?

A few weeks ago, I was feeling good about the campaign. I wasn’t feeling so good the last few days. I am feeling better this morning because Donald Trump still won’t admit the President was born in the USA.  The media is giving this a lot of play today.  Good!

Name the ‘Stros pitcher who has given up the most dingers this season?

Bill King has a response to the Mayor’s pension plan. I will post it on Monday.

Kaepernick keeps winning. Check this from the Chron:

A fifth-grade student in Pearland is following in the steps of 49ers’ quarterback Colin Kaepernick by protesting the Pledge of Allegiance. 

According to news station KHOU, Skyla Madria, 10, said she won’t stand for the Pledge of Allegiance or “The Star-Spangled Banner” after leaning the anthem was written by Francis Scott Key, a slave owner. She also said she’s protesting because of a rarely sung verse of the national anthem that refers to slavery.

The lines of “The Star-Spangled Banner” that refer to slaves are, “No refuge could save the hireling and slave / From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave.” 

Madria told KHOU she’s knelt during the Pledge of Allegiance three times in the last two weeks and was sent to the principal’s office by a coach. Madria claims the principal called her mother, Elizabeth Owens, and “called me disgusting for not standing up.”

Owens told KHOU that she supports her daughter’s protest and doesn’t believe she’s doing anything wrong. 

Pearland Independent School District released a statement saying that Madria was not touched or disciplined in any way.

Here is the entire read:

http://www.chron.com/neighborhood/pearland/news/article/Pearland-middle-schooler-protests-pledge-of-9225133.php.

Mike Fiers of course leads all ‘Stros pitchers by giving up 25 dingers to date this season.

Jake Kaplan of the Chron says we need to go 13-3 the rest of the way if we want to make the playoffs. 9 of those games are on the road. Wow!

Pensions

It looks like the firefighters are the holdouts in the pension deal. I will say that they have considerable sway in the legislature. It will be interesting to see how this turns out. Of the three employee groups, they were the most active campaigners for the Mayor last year. Here is Miya’s story:

Houstonians rely on city employees to fix our streets, fight fires, and keep us safe. When they retire, employees get a pension. However, those pension systems have been underfunded for years. “The current system is not sustainable, and I have 22,000-plus employees, the current system is not in their best interest,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner during an afternoon press conference.

In a significant development of the decade-long effort to rein in the pension system, Mayor Turner announced he has reached an agreement in principle with two of the three major unions in the city. Turner says he can close the multi-billion dollar gap with a complex plan that includes changes in employee pension benefits and the sale of a billion dollars in pension bonds. The multi-tiered restructuring has been conceptually agreed to by city and police pension boards, but not the firefighters’ board. “This is my package I am proposing, and based on my conversations of all the different groups in the last seven months, it is the best interest not just employees, but it is the best interest of the city of Houston.” The firefighters’ pension board, long the hold out for reforms, is still unmoved. In a letter to its members, Chair David Keller said in part: “…we are not comfortable portraying to the membership or the public that we have reached a deal. However, we have not walked away from the table. ” Firefighters may get dragged along in the reform anyway. State Rep. Jim Murphy, who has filed pension reform bills during the two previous legislative sessions, is prepared to do so again. This time, he is doing so with a mayor who spent 26 years in the Texas Legislature. It is widely expected that Turner will have better luck convincing his former colleagues to vote for pension reform.

“You know it’s hard to say what’s going to happen to that,” said Murphy. “I think the other employee groups will help convince them (firefighters) to do it, because it’s in their interest, all three of them, to try help the city.” We don’t yet have the specifics of just how much less money retirees will receive, or other benefit changes that would come with pension reform. Turner says specific changes will be made by each individual pension board, but he made it clear, change is coming. “Would I prefer all of us to be standing here today to make it perfect, yes, but at some point in time, the train has to leave the station. The train is leaving the station, but I will always pause to take on additional passengers,” Turner added.

Now who leads the ‘Stros in dingers?

Apparently, Donald Trump is overweight.

Here is from The Hill:

Defending Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonPoll: Clinton struggling to win over millennialsTrump releases doctor’s letterSanders, Warren to Ohio as Clinton slides in pollsMORE‘s health, David Plouffe said Trump could have some health problems of his own that he hasn’t revealed.

“Let’s talk about medical records, by the way,” Plouffe told host Chuck Todd on MSNBC’s “MTP Daily.”

“Here’s Trump — you know, ‘Dr. Feel Good’ put out a one-page letter,” he added, referencing a letter from Trump’s longtime doctor that claims Trump would be the healthiest person ever elected president.

“He’s 70. He’s the heaviest president we’ve had, candidate we’ve had, since William Taft. There’s a legitimate issue.”

Now who did Trump call a fat pig?

SpringerDinger of course leads the team with 27 dingers.

The 2017 ‘Stros schedule was released yesterday. We open the season at home against the Mariners. In interleague play, we host the Braves, D-Backs, Nationals, and Mets. We play on the road on Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day. What’s up with that.

We won last night and still have a faint pulse.